The miswak is predominant in Muslim areas but its use predates the inception of Islam. Its use has spread from the Middle East to South and Southeast Asia, where it is known as Kayu Sugi (Malay for 'chewing stick'). It is often mentioned that the Islamic prophet Muhammad recommended its use.
Although the 70 supposed benefits of Miswak range widely, the main one we are examining is its effect on oral health. So, let’s throw some light on scientific studies conducted on Miswak. The Wrigley Company made a study on Miswak which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The study found that mints laced with Miswak extract were 20 times more effective in killing bacteria than ordinary mints. A small testimony to this fact is that after half an hour, the mints laced with Miswak extract killed about 60% of the bacteria where as the ordinary mints managed only 3.6%
A study which compares tooth brushing and using Miswak can be seen on Pubmed (U.S National Library for Medicine Service). The study concluded that Miswak was more effective than tooth brushing in reducing plaque and gingivitis provided it was used correctly.
1^ Al-Otaibi M, Al-Harthy M, Soder B, Gustafsson A, Angmar-Mansson B. (2003). "Comparative effect of chewing sticks and toothbrushing on plaque removal and gingival health.". Oral Health Prev Dent 1 (4): 301–7.
2^ Undersøkelse av en aktuell eldgammel munnrengjøringsmetode in Norwegian